When we reported about the leak of a BuckCherry track last week, and specifically the band’s response to it, we hinted that this could be a covert form of self-promotion. Indeed, after a few days of research we found out that the track wasn’t leaked by pirates, but by Josh Klemme, the manager of the band.
When BuckCherry found out that their latest single had leaked on BitTorrent, they didn’t try to cover this up, or take the file down. No, instead, they issued a press release (update: the press release has been removed, Google cache), where they stated: “Honestly, we hate it when this s*** happens, because we want our FANS to have any new songs first.”
This is strange to say the least. Not only because their label, Atlantic Records, is known to release (and spam) tracks for free on BitTorrent sites, but also because the press release was more about promoting the band than the actual leak. Without any hard evidence, we suggested that this leak may have been set up to get some free promotion and publicity, which BuckCherry seems to need.
Out of curiosity, we decided to follow this up, to see if this was indeed the case. With some help of a user in the community, we tracked down some of the initial seeders of the torrent. A BitTorrent site insider was kind enough to help us out, because BitTorrent is not supposed to be “abused” like this, and confirmed that the IP of one of the early seeders did indeed belong to the person who uploaded the torrent file.
It turns out that the uploader, a New York resident, had only uploaded one torrent, the BuckCherry track. When we entered the IP-address into the Wiki-scanner, we found out that the person in question had edited the BuckCherry wikipedia entry, and added the name of the band manager to another page.
This confirmed our suspicions, but it was not quite enough, since it could be an overly obsessed fan (if they have fans). So, we decided to send the band manager, Josh Klemme – who happens to live in New York – an email to ask for his opinion on our findings. Klemme, replied to our email within a few hours, and surprisingly enough his IP-address was the same as the uploader.
Unfortunately Klemme only replied once, and ignored all further requests to comment on this issue. However, the press release, sent out by Atlantic Records and BuckCherry, seems to be a promotional stunt. It could be that the manager acted on his own, and that the band and the record label were not not in on this, but that’s less plausible.
Klemme has been caught with his pants down, and he will probably think twice before he tries to pull off a stunt like this again. A song doesn’t leak by itself and pirates don’t have some sort of superhuman ability to get their hands on pre-release material. No, most leaked movies, TV-shows and albums come from the inside so blaming pirates is useless.
Of course, it’s great that BuckCherry can get some free promotion for the band using BitTorrent, and we encourage everyone to promote their band or movie via this great system too. But wouldn’t it be more constructive if bands embraced the technology and admitted it, instead of playing the injured party and giving the protocol a bad image, just to boost their own? There’s a great opportunity here, don’t waste it.